Overview: We stayed at Playa Caribe Condos in Half Moon Bay, Akumal, from September 20 – 27, 2008 for a best-friend getaway. I am a seasoned Mexico traveler and have stayed in a variety of places (villas, hotels, and resorts). There were two of us in our group. Overall Rating: 4-Star.
As this was during “low season”, my friend and I were the only people at the condos for most of the week! We absolutely loved it! There were really only a handful of people in the whole bay during our stay! Perfect!!!
There were some A/C issues directly upon arrival, but it ensured us staying in a few different condos! Depending on the day (wind, water-clarity), snorkeling was a great past-time in HMB. We saw plenty of turtles, a squid, a manta-ray, and a couple of leopard-rays (and of course tons of tropical fish).
Playa Caribe condos are definitely the nicest accommodations on Half Moon Bay.
The condos were clean and well-kept. The center column of condos are slightly smaller than the side condos, but the center units have a slightly better panoramic view. The condos vary in décor based on each individual owner. For the best view, we liked the top center penthouse condo (#12 I believe?). For decor- Unit 4 was our favorite.
-Pros: Full kitchens, great balconies, good water-pressure, FILTERED water from the tap! (Yes, we drank it!!!!) Comfortable beds, large showers, satellite TV,
-Cons: A/C was broken in our first couple of condos, so we moved around a bit. We are pretty easy-going, so it wasn’t a huge deal (plus we were able to stay in a few condos!). We eventually made it back to our original condo—which was our favorite. Internet was hit-and-miss and we had to ask for it to be rebooted a couple of times.
FOOD/RESTAURANTS: Small mini-mart type of store almost directly behind the condos. Good for small things. Akumal main bay has a couple of medium-size (for Mexico) grocery-stores too. My suggestion would be to stop at Wal-Mart in Playa del Carmen on your way down (or your first day there) to stock up on most things. Then use these smaller stores to fill-in as needed.
1. La Buena Vida: This was probably the best part of Half Moon Bay for me. I could walk up the beach every afternoon for chips and guacamole! The best!
2. La Lunita: Also on HMB and perhaps the best food I’ve ever had in Mexico!
3. Turtle Bay Bakery: Akumal main bay - Cinnamon roll for breakfast was to die for!
BEACH: Playa Caribe condos are set in the center of a bay (Half Moon Bay). This is both good and bad. Good for snorkeling and the natural “protection” of the reef. Bad because some days the water-current traps trash/filth in the water right on your beach! You definitely need hard-bottomed water shoes for water-entry (which isn’t necessarily a negative as it means great snorkeling!). The beach is not very wide—during slow season that was not a problem, but it could be an issue during busy-season.
-Pros: Loungers with available pads and nice palapas with built-in “table” ring. The beach in front of the condo was raked every morning by the help.
-Cons: Depending on the current, at times there would be a lot of trash that would get stuck on the beach (and in the water) right in front of the condos. Not a daily thing – but kind of gross when it did occur.
Although on the small side, the pool was immaculate and kept very clean. The beach-front location and the way it’s built on a higher elevation than sand-level make for an Infiniti-pool type of feel.
-Pros: They have one! Clean. Ocean-front. Foot baths! Pool-side shower.
-Cons: No seating inside the pool.
SPA SERVICES: You can order a massage – info in the condo information book.
SERVICE/STAFF: The regular manager was on vacation the week we were there, so Pablo Diaz stepped in. He bought a cell phone for us to contact him (text or phone call) any time we wanted. That was very helpful! The groundskeeper/assistant manager was on-site all week (24/7) and there was a security-guard every night.
1) We went to Akumal Beach Resort in the Main Bay and paid an all-inclusive day-fee ($35/person) to use their facilities for the afternoon. It was nice for a change of scenery and for the all-inclusive food. (Note: I would rate the resort (what I saw) only about a 3-3.5-Star.) We kayaked, my friend did aerobics, and the snorkeling was great. The beach at ABR is soft, white, wide, and Caribbean-perfect. No water shoes needed.
2) Yal Ku Lagoon: We went late-afternoon, right before closing. This was my first time to the lagoon and I was definitely not impressed. I felt there was just as good, if not better, snorkeling in the bay right out front of the condos! Great statues, though!
PS - If you’re interested in my “Mexico Packing List” I’d be happy to share. It includes things (like earplugs) that I have found extremely helpful to have on Mexico trips. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will email it back to you as an attachment.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Playa Caribe consists of twelve 2 bedroom condos and 3 studios. Generally regarded as the best on Halfmoon Bay. We have the only water treatment (RO) system that allows you to use and drink the water safely just like home. We have a pool and are centrally located to all that the Akumal area has to offer. Some of the best snorkeling is right off our beach. You will see turtles all year round right from our patio. Hope to see you soon in paradise. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Playa Caribe Hotel Akumal
- Playa Caribe Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico